Packing for the Future: Instructions
Take the thickest socks.
Wherever you’re going
you’ll have to walk.
There may be water.
There may be stones.
There may be high places
you cannot go without
the hope socks bring you,
the way they hold you
to the earth.
At least one pair must be new,
must be as blue as a wish
hand-knit by your mother
in her sleep.
Take a leather satchel,
a velvet bag and an old tin box—
a salamander painted on the lid.
This is to carry that small thing
you cannot leave. Perhaps the key
you’ve kept though it doesn’t fit
any lock you know,
the photograph that keeps you sane,
a ball of string to lead you out
though you can’t walk back
into that light.
In your bag leave room for sadness,
leave room for another language.
There may be doors nailed shut.
There may be painted windows.
There may be signs that warn you
to be gone. Take the dream
you’ve been having since
you were a child, the one
with open fields and the wind
Mistrust no one who offers you
water from a well, a songbird’s feather,
something that’s been mended twice.
Always travel lighter
than the heart.
~ Lorna Crozier
Music by National Skyline, “Slip Away”